50 years ago today!

I clearly remember stepping off a C-141 with a mix group of Seabees, sailors and army personal on this date in 1970 in Danang, South Vietnam.It was a clear and warm day and there was a definite smell. I reported to the Army liason officer and was directed to watch a movie about VD. I meet a very friendly Air Force officer and we both went to the BOQ for our rooms. I declined an invitation to visit the city. I was really gung-ho and spent the next three days immersed with topographical maps of the area I was about to be sent to. I also had a crash course in Basic Laotian Language skills and the next thing I knew,I was in a C-123 landing at a remoted airfield in the extreme North Western part of SV. I spent 13 months as a bush pilot flying mostly a O-1 Bird Dog. I never saw any Platoon or Rambo combat and I spent 90% of time either in the air or waiting for a break in the weather. I had some real bad experiences like getting lost over enemy territory in IFR conditions. Another time I forgot my Tiny Bladder extender and had to urinate in my canteen while I had the airplane is slow flight. Another time I had to land on a grass strip at night with two toilet rolls soaked in kerosene on fire as ground markers.
I did have one best friend. My M-16 rifle. I hardly went anywhere with out it.


It would be very nice if politicians don’t get our boys involved in anymore senseless missions like that again. Glad you’re one who made it home.


At least you kept your cool when you got lost and had nothing to rely on. I can’t say that I would be collected about that. I’d probably be in drooling idiot panic. Glad that you made it home safe.

Why did you have to land on a grass strip?

1 Like

Even though the situation was far from ideal, I bet Vietnam was a beautiful country to fly around over. Thanks for sharing your stories I always like hearing how things really went down instead of watching some ridiculous dramatization in the movies.


That was my orders to land and pick up a passenger.

Yes I kept my cool, and I was flying VFR on top and had to rely on dead reckoning and celestial navigation. It was my descent through the endless rain that was scary, I was lost and only by miracle did I receive a radar message that I was over the strip. That was pure good luck!

My first trip to Laos’s stunned me. As far as you could see. there was nothing but deep bomb craters filled with water. It was an obvious B-52 carpet bomb strike. It would have been impossible to land and I was of the opinion that earth worms could not have survived that attack.


You are correct in that. Even earthworms and cockroaches didn’t survive a B 52 run or a sweep by Puff.

Damn - so your job was to fly a little plane into remote locations in a war zone and pick people up? That’s nuts man.

yeethoven…the entire war was nuts!

1 Like

'70 - '71 - US Army - 511 days in hell,…Central Highlands,…enough said.


Fifty years ago today I was 7 years old watching the daily reports on the news and worrying my dad would be called back to active duty to go to Vietnam.

Thanks for the reminder.

Oscar? …


One of the coolest planes ever! I got to fly one for a couple of hours one time and instantly fell in love with it.

Truthfully though I was in love with them the first time I saw them work, getting some stick time was just a 2 hour orgasm! :grinning:


Did you love the smell of napalm in the morning? :neutral_face:

1 Like

I cannot remember how many hours I logged flying the O-2 Cessna Sky Master.

That was my first guess when you described your missions.

My hat is off to you. I worked with Vietnam era FARCS and CSAR guys quite a bit early in my career.

You were a brave person!

Not really, it was just part of the job. Sometimes they called us to get high value assets to a safe extraction point. It was a blast.

That reminded me of the Full Metal Jacket quote :slight_smile:

I wanted to see exotic Vietnam… the crown ■■■■■ of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture… and kill them. I wanted to be the first kid on my block to get a confirmed kill!

Private Joker

1 Like